Henry Hitchings was born in 1974. He has written mainly about language and history, starting in 2005 with Dr Johnson's Dictionary - a biography of the first really good dictionary of English.
The Secret Life of Words (2008) won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award, as well as seeing him shortlisted for the title of Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. 2011's The Language Wars completed what was in effect a trilogy of books about language.
He is a prolific critic and has made several programmes for radio and television, on subjects including Erasmus Darwin, the eighteenth-century English novel and the history of manners. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.